Cambodia North Zone Phnom Penh

Week 12: Baptism in the Rain

Nov 28, 2022

Hello everyone! This week flew by for me somehow, I doubt it will be like that for the next two years so I'm soaking up every moment. This week was great, but I also had some weird first-time experiences. For this past P-day we went to the market, and I bought a bunch of cool and random stuff that I probably don't need, but I have to take advantage of buying this stuff while I'm here. Everything here is super cheap, but you can always get a lower price if you think the seller is ripping you off. That sounds bad because Khmer people are already poor as it is, but bargaining in the market is just part of the experience. I obviously can't say much to knock the price down so I just wouldn't say anything for a little bit, or I would stare at them until they gave me the price I wanted. I can't imagine how good I'll be at bargaining when I can actually speak.

We got kicked out of not one, but TWO national universities this week! We have been to the university almost every day since I've been here to go contacting or study without a problem. One day we went to go do our studies at one of the universities and were asking some kids about how to say a certain word and then just started having a conversation with them. Hadn't even started talking to them about Jesus yet, but then a security guard came up to us and told us we weren't allowed to talk to them and had to leave. Since we were forced to leave, we walked over to the other university to try and finish our study and another security guard stopped us and told us we had to leave and weren't allowed to come back. Super disappointing, but one of our friends in the ward is friends with the principal so she's going to ask and see if we can go back. That's not even the weirdest part though. Right after that we went to the park to try and finish our studies and this Korean man walked up to us and asked us if we were missionaries. We obviously said yes and in my head I was thinking this is exactly what we needed. Then he started telling us how he believes in science and that humans came from aliens and just all this crazy stuff. I felt like we needed to get out of the situation, so I turned on my ring tone and pretended like I was getting a call and said we had to go so he'd leave. Somehow it worked and Elder Schofield and I were so confused about everything that had happened that day so we turned to the scriptures. We read in 3 Nephi 12: 9-16 and in verse 16 it says, "Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." No matter what obstacles are thrown our way, we can always find the light and be that light for others. If we can't shine the light of Christ on the world, then who will? I encourage all of you to go read these verses. They are so good.

Julie got baptized on Saturday and it was so beautiful to watch my first baptism in country, especially because I was able to experience a small part of her journey with her. Before the baptism we were visiting a member and it started dumping rain. We still had to bike all the way back to the church in the rain, which was actually pretty fun, so by the time we got to the church we were soaking wet. It was all worth it just to see how big Julie's smile was when she came out of the water and it was so heartwarming. Afterwards she shared a quick testimony because she started tearing up and was just filled with emotion. Her testimony was short and sweet, but it was strong and filled with the Spirit and she has eternity to grow that testimony now. When I left for the MTC a few months ago, Michele Forte gave me a quote that will stick with me for my whole mission, and it says a missionary is "someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with their families for eternity." I really felt the truth of that statement as I watched Julie get baptized. I definitely miss my family right now, but I am even more excited to help people in Cambodia have the opportunity to be with their families for eternity. 

I love you all! God loves you all!


Elder Mendenhall 

📸 All the photos:

Here is just a sampling of some of the photos.